By Maureen Werther
The city of Glens Falls is accepting applications for facade improvements to businesses located in the downtown area.
The $100,000 made available for the improvements are part of the $10 million the city received from the state for its Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The money will be awarded to businesses who meet the criteria of the grant.
The deadline to submit applications is April 27 and instructions and applications are available at www.gfdri.org.
The money will go toward interior and exterior upgrades, which can include window replacement, signs, updating sprinkler systems and other fire suppression systems, fixtures and lighting. The $25,000 limit can only represent 50 percent of the total cost.
EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew said businesses have to prove they have the financial standing to pay the other 50 percent match for the program. The grant funds are provided to the business upon completion of the work.
Any improvements or costs incurred prior to the grant application period and award of the funds will not be considered part of the reimbursable program.
In order to be eligible, buildings must be located within the designated downtown revitalization area. There must not be any outstanding code violations against the property and the property must be used for retail, commercial or mixed-use. Residential properties are not eligible for the program. The property owners must also demonstrate that the property has sufficient liability and hazard insurance coverage.
Bartholomew said the façade improvement projects will go before the city’s Planning Board for review.
Each application will be assessed and receive a score based on the impact the project will have on the area, proof of readiness to begin renovations and improvements, proof of secured financing, demonstration of the project’s positive physical and economic impact to the surrounding environment. Projects that will fulfill specific goals of the DRI—offering specialty foods, healthy and affordable farm food products, hardware stores, bookstores, boutique or apparel retailers, electronics or phone equipment stores—may receive up to 20 points on their application scores.
Upon approval, grant recipients must adhere to the bidding guidelines and criteria contained in the DRI administrative plan. Upon approval, pre-construction reviews will be held with the contractor and the property owner.
Business owners must also commit to keeping the business open at the location for a period of five years or risk being required to repay the grant monies. Owners must agree not to demolish the property and are prohibited from selling the business during the five-year time period after completion of the work.